With the great beaches such an attraction here, water sports are a popular Koh Samui activity during a holiday. For many people this is as simple as swimming in the warm blue seas or a bit of snorkelling, but for those who want it there are a host of other sports available. Jet-skis can be rented on Lamai and Chaweng beaches, and at Big Buddha beach it is possible to charter a speedboat. More on Samui activities.
Canoes and kayaks can be rented from a number of places, but particularly at Chaweng beach. Other popular water sport activities on Samui are windsurfing, sailing, and water skiing. There are also a number of reputable diving schools on the island where you can get a PADI certificate, 100 Degrees East (Tel: 07724 5936) is one, and they can also organise kite surfing and fishing trips. More on Samui fishing trips.
Biking and hiking on Samui
Koh Samui’s mountainous interior provides excellent opportunities for biking and hiking adventures, either organised independently or through a tour company. Red Bicycle, near Hin Ta Hin Yai, offers equipment hire plus guided trips.
Many people choose to explore themselves either on foot, by bicycle, with a four-wheel drive jeep or off road motorbike. The best starting point is to follow some of the small inland roads around Lamai and Mae Nam, making sure you take plenty of provisions and water, especially if you are walking.
More on Samui tours.
Wildlife on Samui
Wildlife shows have become popular on Samui and are particularly good if you’re travelling with children. You can ride an elephant, see a gang of monkeys climbing trees to collect coconuts, visit the snake or crocodile farm, or enjoy the tranquility of the butterfly garden. Some people might find the shows a little contrived, but generally the animals are well looked after by their handlers. There are also natural attractions nearby such as spectacular waterfalls. More on Samui waterfalls.
Other sports on Samui
Koh Samui is a great sport and leisure island, with so many options for people who don’t want to spend all the time on the beach. For those who want to have a go at Thai boxing (Muay Thai), there are a number of different gyms that provide classes, including Thai Pinyo Boxing School which has daily classes where beginners are welcome. For golf lovers, Santiburi Golf Course is considered one of the top courses in Southeast Asia, and hosts a professional tournament on the Asian Tour. There are also numerous other sporting options on Samui including tennis, badminton, running, go-karting, bowling, running and even bungee jumping. More on golf in Samui.
Spa and massage
If all the sports available on the island are not your idea of a holiday, then Samui has some fantastic spa’s for pure relaxation and numerous places for a massage. The spas on the island offer a range of services with herbal steam baths, reflexology, yoga, reiki, clay body wraps, advice about detoxification diets, and massages. A short half-day visit or a longer stay is a great way to totally de-stress.
Tamarind Retreat located between Chaweng and Lamai (tel: (077) 424 221) and Baan Taling Ngam Spa in one of the islands most exclusive resorts are two options but there are spas dotted around the island. Many people simply prefer the small massages huts on the beaches, where you can get a great massage while looking out to sea. More on beauty treatments in Samui.
Recommended Samui operators
DJ Paradise Tours
Based in Samui, this company has been arranging tours throughout Thailand for over 12 years with their exclusively private tours “à la carte”, by minibus, for individuals and small groups. Tel: (077) 920 035.